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lebaobei123 Offline



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01.07.2019 05:10
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The Barclays Premier League season is officially halfway through. No exaggeration, the season has been great thus far. A more unpredictable Premier League is better viewing. Competition at the top and bottom of the table remains fierce and ever-changing. League leaders Arsenal are on pace for 84 points. Fewer than 84 points has only won the league once in the last decade. The word parity is thrown around, and its not entirely accurate. Top teams are beginning to hit their stride, although every team continues to show flaws, making for a topsy-turvy table. There has been no shortage of talking points through 19 games. Before we get to our mid-season awards, lets go all High Fidelity. Here are the top five storylines at the halfway mark. 5) Methodical Mourinho: You love to love him and love to hate him. Its all more compelling with Jose Mourinho in the Premier League. Inspiring, entertaining football however from has been few and far between from his Chelsea team. Mourinho is Exhibit A in over-managing. His meticulous approach leads to a dull end product more times than not. Chelsea has been clinically stifling at times against top competition, in particular stuffing out matches against Arsenal and Manchester United. Free flowing football has been sacrificed to climb the table. Although its surprising a team with the financial wherewithal and talent of Chelsea need to resort to such mind-numbing tactics at times, Mourinho understands its what needs to be done until he can get his players at the club. Its been a Masterclass job thus far; Mourinhos teams are among the most consistent and competitive week to week. While team performance has been predictable, the notable persona of the Portuguese has not. Mourinho 2.0 has overall been more subdued than his previous tenure. The trademark arrogance and gamesmanship however remain omnipresent. Mourinhos leap into the Stamford Bridge crowd, sitting amongst the supporters after being sent to the stands, and interrupting post-match interviews are few examples the Mourinho of yester year is not far from the surface. As Chelsea close in on the top of the table, Chelseas tactics will become more dry and Mourinhos personality more rebellious. We all win with the latter. 4) Managerial Merry-go-round: Five managers were fired in the 2012/13 season. There have been six casualties already this campaign. Paolo Di Canio (Sunderand), Ian Holloway (Crystal Palace), Martin Jol (Fulham), Steve Clarke (West Brom), Andre Villas-Boas (Tottenham), and Malky Mackay (Cardiff City) are all no longer with their respective sides. The biggest shock has to be AVB. The young Portuguese is now a two-time Premier League failure. Its a massive let-down for a perceived tactically superior young mind in the game not being able to relate with the modern player, isolating individuals within the team and not getting the most out of the players at his disposal. Losing Gareth Bale was a blow for Spurs. But the finances spent and the talent on hand is capable of much more. AVB as a man manager will rightfully be questioned in his next gig. The unlucky loser of the unemployed bunch is Mackay. Playing a public chess match with tumultuous Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan was never going to be a battle won. When an owner operates on an island without rhyme and reason, the environment becomes poisoned and stability goes out the window. Mackay leaves with his head held high, despite his big money swing and a miss of striker Andreas Cornelius. Di Canio gets the nod for most warranted sacking. Who in their right mind would think 11 new players; most of marginal talent, at the Stadium of Light would be a recipe for success? And the audacity to stand before the travelling Sunderland supporters after a 3-0 loss at the Hawthorns provided pictures that will go down in infamy. 3) Golden Gunners: Arsene Wengers demise was widely predicted after a 3-1 home loss to Aston Villa to start the season. After the opening day loss, Arsenal reeled off a streak of 12 straight undefeated in all competitions, signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, and brought Mathieu Flamini back to the Emirates. Meanwhile, talent became realized for Welshman Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud showed his worth as a Premier League talisman and a resurgent backline has developed into one of, if not, the best defensive unit in the league. So much for Wenger losing the plot. Arsenal sits atop the table and on top form despite losing Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as long-term absentees. You know things are rolling when goalkeeping is even top notch at the Emirates. The coming of age of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has provided much needed stability. Is this Arsenal team good enough to be Champions? The starting XI is virtually set. January depth moves can be made up front and at the back. But it will inevitably be up to the current crop. They are a strong group. But are they capable of taking their game to the next level? 2) Sizzling Suarez: Its incredible what can change in a matter of four months. Luis Suarez has gone from a biting, erratic misfit to the most consistent performer and producer in the league. Suarez has more goals than seven Premier League teams, and his 19 are equal to the tally of Fulham. And all this has all come in just 14 games. Incredible. The Uruguayan also has five assists, making it sound bizarre to suggest his stats alone doesnt tell the entire story. He is a true game-breaker in a time where players of that dimension are rare. A constant threat, remarkable touch on the ball and extraordinary movement off it, Suarez has evolved into one of the worlds best. Liverpool has broken the bank to sign Suarez to a new mega contract. Ironically enough, it may be his own influence that determines whether he actually sees that contract out on the Merseyside. Its Champions League or bust. Suarez is key. 1) The noise about Moyes: Its the most talked about story and will continue to be. The start of the David Moyes era at Old Trafford has been shaky at best. But there are signs the team is turning the corner. While still lacking true top end talents en masse, the team as unit is playing much better football. Unfair to Moyes, a transition period within the team hit at the same time as the managerial change. This is no fault of Moyes. And to suggest it could all be remedied in his first transfer window was naïve. That doesnt excuse his panic purchase of Marouane Fellaini or the all too cautious approach in team selection/tactics to open the season. Manchester United is in the midst of a squad evolution. The process will continue in January. The knee-jerk, have-it-now nature of sport demands swift change. Moyes will get blamed or praised for whatever happens in the transfer windows. But this is more of a test to the Glazer ownership. Sponsorship acquisition has come fast and furious. The player side continues to lag behind, not moving in accordance with the clubs commercial growth. In the meantime, United on the field will have to continue to be their scrappy best. Theres something truly likeable about an underdog United team. Its been years since theyve been in such a role. Champions League qualification and lengthy runs in Cup competitions would be seen as a successful year. Next year, the stakes will be much higher. Mid-season Awards Top Player: Suarez (Liverpool) – Honourable mentions to Sergio Aguero, Aaron Ramsey and Wayne Rooney. But Suarez is the clear choice. Manager: Brendan Rodgers (Liverpool) – Year number two at Liverpool has exceeded expectations. The manager bemoans his lack of squad depth, and rightfully so. Yet his team, no matter the change in formation or personnel has managed to play an increasing prominent passing game with the ability to adapt in shape and approach appropriately to the occasion. The man deserves a lot of credit. Belief is back at Anfield. Best Goal: Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) vs. Crystal Palace – An ultimate team goal by Arsenal and Jack Wilshere was trumped later the same weekend by an all-time strike from Kasami. A run on full trot from the middle of the park, controlling with the chest and volley top corner on the run from a ridiculous angle at the top corner of the box wins it. Hands down. End of story. Memorable Moment: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City) goal vs. Southampton – It took just 12 seconds for the goalkeeper to score the shock goal of the season. The story goes it was a windy day, Begovic launched the ball from inside his own box, the ball landed between two Southampton centre-backs, Artur Boruc misjudged the big bounce and embarrassment ensued. Perhaps the most shocking variable was the goal made Begovic joint top goal scorer for Stoke at that time on the season. And the goal was scored in November, Surprise player: Seamus Coleman (Everton) – Roberto Martinez has struck gold with the Irish right back. His defensive play has been standout for one of the most dependable backlines in the league. Coleman has added five goals to his account. Thats more goals than he has scored in his Premier League career, one more than Christian Benteke and just one less than all of Chelseas strikers have scored combined. Surprise team: Hull City – many, including myself pegged the Tigers to go straight back to the League Championship. Instead, Hull sits 10th at the halfway point. They have beat Liverpool and Newcastle, were robbed against Spurs, and gave the two Manchester clubs a scare. This has all come from a team without top talent, a manager with a track record of Premier League failure, and a team garnering more attention for a potential name change than anything on the field. This is the feel good story of the league. Team Performance: Manchester City vs. Manchester United – Its one thing to win by a converted touchdown over Norwich City. Its another thing to run your neighbours and reigning Champions off the field in extraordinary fashion. The 4-1 final flattered United. It was truly a performance for the ages. Worst Owner: Vincent Tan (Cardiff City) – Mike Ashley is dethroned by a man who 1) changed the teams historic colours to the chagrin of club supporters, 2) fired his chief scout and hired his sons unqualified friend, 3) fired the popular coach, 4) has thrown the clubs reputation into disrepute. Not bad work for just four months. Well see how much further he goes, and how much higher his pants get in the New Year. Best XI: De GeaColeman-Jagielka-Mertesacker-SantonRamsey-Toure-HazardRooney-Suarez-Aguero Jamel Dean Jersey .C. -- After a listless first half, the Washington Wizards used a big third quarter run to beat the Charlotte Bobcats Bradley Beal scored 21 points and the Wizards used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to take control of what had been a close game and beat the Bobcats 97-83 on Tuesday night. Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys . The 31-year-old, a two-time CFL lineman of the year, was among the most coveted free agents on the market. The Windsor, Ont., native will be especially important to a team that has lost veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo to retirement and is expected to go with the less experienced Troy Smith and Tanner Marsh this season. http://www.cheapbuccaneersjerseysauthentic.com/. The game got off to a less-than-ideal start for the Jets as Oliver Ekman-Larsson found a wide open net from the slot and opened the scoring for the Coyotes a lead in the first period, but Olli Jokinen answered back just over half a minute later. John Lynch Jersey .ca. Hi Kerry, Love reading your column and loved watching your analysis on the TSN broadcasts!And were now in Round 2! Bruins! Canadiens! We know all about the great games of the past from the players, the broadcasters and the writers. Wholesale Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys . In the other Group A game, the Czech Republic stunned Canada, 5-4 in a shootout. Dominik Simon scored the deciding goal in the tiebreaker. The United States scored its first three goals on power plays. "Overall, I love to see the power-play goals we were able to get tonight," said U.NEW YORK – The Blue Jays entered Thursdays series finale at Yankee Stadium losers of eight of their last 11 games. Theyd dropped 15 in a row in the Bronx dating back to 2012 and had seen their lead over their pinstriped rivals in the American League East dwindle to two and a half games. This is a slump. Its lasted for about two weeks. The downturn comes on the heels of a terrific May, when Toronto won 21 of 30 games and Edwin Encarnacion captured the imagination of fans with his 16-home run month. This is not is the end of the world, nor does this slump suggest a long-term trend. This is on the offence and thats a good thing because theres too much talent in the Blue Jays lineup for the widespread malaise to continue. To wit: The starting pitching has been fine. You could say its been good and you wouldnt be wrong. In the last 11 games, Jays starters have allowed four or more earned runs only twice and have pitched to a staff ERA of 3.71. The starting pitching was supposed to be the weakness. So far it has held up. The Jays have hit only four home runs in their last 11 games. Not surprisingly, three of the home runs came in two of the three victories. Toronto continues to lead baseball with 93 team home runs, which is crucial to the clubs attack. Of the 338 runs the Jays have scored this season, 147 (43.4 per cent) have come via the long ball. Jose Bautista hasnt hit a home run in 11 games, his longest power drought of the season. Hes still hitting for a respectable average, .275 with five of his 11 hits going for doubles, but the Jays miss his power bat as the club struggles, having scored three or fewer runs eight times in the span. This is a phase, both for the individual and for the ballclub, Bautista said, that was bound to happen. "If you can execute every single day for 162, youd probably win 140 games," said Bautista. "We dont expect to execute every single day. But we do have to pick it up. Its one thing, were running into some St. Louis good pitching, soome other pitching staffs.dddddddddddd I dont want to speak badly or worse about the Yankees or the Orioles but its not the same. We faced much better pitching at home during the last homestand than we have on this road trip, except for Tanaka, who did a tremendous job. So we shouldve won some of these games that we lost." It hasnt helped, either, that Edwin Encarnacion has hit only one home run in the last 11 games. "Weve lacked some timely hitting," said Bautista. "Our pitching has been there enough, I think, that we shouldve won some of these games that weve lost. We just need to keep going on offence. We got really hot at one point and kind of hitting a little cold spurt now. Weve just got to overcome it and not get 10 hits a day but get them when you get the baserunners on." Bautista has repeatedly acknowledged hes bought in to hitting coach Kevin Seitzers philosophy of using all fields. The slugger has become a better all round hitter. His 1,000th career big league hit, achieved in the eighth inning of Wednesday nights loss, was a double to right field. That alone would have been a story last season. This year its commonplace. "I think Im more aware of some situations where people are going to keep challenging me inside, especially when Im behind in the count or theres the right situation when theres a defensive shift," said Bautista. "Why not try to go over there and it ended up working out again? But

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